Virgin America will operate three daily non-stop round-trips to Philadelphia International Airport from Los Angeles International Airport starting on April 4 and two daily...

San Francisco-based Virgin America is launching service to Philadelphia International Airport in April.

Virgin America will operate three daily non-stop round-trips to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starting on April 4 and two daily non-stop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) starting on April 10.


To mark the announcement of its new destination, Virgin America has launched a system-wide “The City of Brotherly Love: Just Got Lovelier” fare sale, with one-way PHL-LAX fares from $129 and one-way PHL-SFO fares from $149, not including government fees and taxes.

Virgin America operates an all-Airbus fleet of A319s and A320s and by the middle of the decade could have 76 or more aircraft in service, given the size of its current fleet and existing orders

Tickets for the new flights are now available at www.virginamerica.com and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN.

All Main Cabin fares are one-way and require a 14-day advance purchase. Travel must occur between April 4 and June 15, 2012 for PHL-LAX and between April 10 and June 15, 2012 for PHL-SFO. Blackout dates are April 6, April 9, May 25, and May 28, 2012. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59 pm CST on January 20.

“When more airlines compete, consumers win – with lower fares and better service. Travelers deserve more options than just the typical legacy airline cattle car, and we hope our unique brand of low fares and inventive service will be a breath of fresh air for Philadelphians,” said David Cush, Virgin America’s president and chief executive officer.

“In addition to being a historic and vibrant city, this market has strong business and leisure travel connections to California – and we thank both Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia International Airport officials for welcoming our new service,” added Cush.

Virgin America says that, at a time when most airlines are cutting capacity, it will bring much-needed, non-stop competition from California’s largest airports to PHL.

Currently, the airline says, only legacy carriers serve West Coast-PHL routes non-stop and notes that when it has entered markets that offer little low-fare competition, Virgin America has historically seen fares drop by up to one-third.

In addition, 50 per cent of travelers flying from PHL to the Los Angeles market now use connecting flights and 45 per cent of those traveling from PHL to the San Francisco Bay Area are connecting passengers, according to Virgin America.

“This is a great development for the entire Philadelphia region, including northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. “New airline service not only lowers fares for travelers, but it is also a major economic driver – stimulating business travel, tourism and local job growth. Virgin America’s new flights also validate the strong and growing business travel link between our region’s innovation-based sectors and those on the West Coast.”

The Philadelphia region, including northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania, is home to a robust pharmaceutical industry and is an important East Coast hub for biotechnology R&D. Virgin America’s Wi-Fi-enabled flights will provide more options for business travelers who commute from PHL to Silicon Valley and Southern California.

PHL is the latest expansion for the growing carrier. In just over four years flying, the airline has expanded to 17 destinations (including PHL) and has created 2,200 new jobs.  As one of the few growing U.S. carriers, the airline has launched service to Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta and Palm Springs in the past 12 months.

Connecting flights will also be available at LAX and SFO from PHL to Virgin America’s San Diego, Seattle and Las Vegas destinations.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Cabos, Cancun, Chicago, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs and (as of April 4) Philadelphia.